Friday, April 20, 2007


I read a slew of suspense and romance novels. My addiction to reading is probably far worse that Donald Goins heroin addiction. (That was a low blow, I know).

In any case, I guess you're wondering why I titled my piece Hurt Her.

In all the books I've read, I rarely see the writer hurt the female in the book. Now there are some that have this tough female that "can take it just like any man," but I've really never seen a really gracious woman get really hurt.

Even though women can withstand pain far better than men.

So why is this?

Just like life, we (writers - male and female) tend to protect the fragile woman, but I don't think we should. If he can take a bullet, so can she in my opinion.

I'm not opposed to putting my female characters in great danger and hurting them even if they are pregnant, which the person trying to hurt them may or may not know.

A goal is a goal with the antagonist - hurt them. Not just him, them both of them (because usually I'm writing a romance and the couple comes together to defeat the foe).

In Stone's Revenge, I did receive angry letters at the way my hero treated my shero. William Stone was the son of a serial killer and affection to him was when his father slapped him around, beat him within an inch of his life and then locked him in a closet. I didn't see how I was going to get him to "be nice" now that he had met Abigail, the woman he was destine with, so how did the reader expect me to come up with a believable start to the relationship that had William coming out smelling like roses? It was in his nature to be mean, so I had to make their initial contact fit for William, not Abigail.

One reader said the partial forced sexed scene went a little bit too far and she could never understand how a woman could fall in love with a man after he did that.

I guess she's never had wrestle sex, LOL.

(I know that was crude.)

I stick to the nature of characters. I don't change just to make the reader happy.

Hurting my female protagonist is not some sick desire to make women suffer, (LOL) it's a desire to stay true to my story.

With this mixed with sticking to my character's nature has garnered me an unexpected success and a large following of readers that know when they open up my books, I will be true to the story til the end.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Allow Me to Introduce Myself

My name is Humpty, pronounced with an "umpty" . . . OOPS! I'm sorry, wrong Blog. Let's try that again.

My name is Michael C. Lee, but my friends call me "Mike". I am a former command officer with the Detroit Police Department. After 20 years of service, I jetted up; opting for the trappings of civilian life. That's right, I spend a great deal of my time these days as a husband, and a father. Incidentally, I am a cherrleader's dad, so I guess that would make me a cheerleader, too- get it? (You see, my daughter's a cheerleader, so I cheer for her when she's cheerleading . . . oh, forget it). I am an adjunct instructor for ITT Tech, and am also the former Chair of their School of Criminal Justice in Troy. I write as often as I can OR whenever I am hit with the urge to do so.

My first book, Chandler Park Drive, (named for a street in Detroit) intrduces the reader to the central character, Denard Blake, a Detroit Police Narcotics cop. The story takes place in Detroit and at the height of the War on Drugs. Denard and his comrades work with the DEA to bring down a local drug lord. Denard has to juggle his police life with a complicated personal life that includes a wife and a sultry mistress. In the end- as one reviewer put it- there will be more twists and turns in this story than the actual Chandler Park Drive itself.

I am currently finishing my second book entitled, Overturned. Denard Blake is back as a sergeant with DPD Homicide. His investigation into the murders of a young woman and her two small children leads Denard and his courageous crew to Thelmon Kirkwood. Kirkwood is a first-time convicted felon working dilligently to get his drug conviction OVERTURNED. Like Chandler Park Drive, this story is long on: action, dialogue, sex, suspense, intrigue, and surprise. It is a gripping tale that will have you laughing, crying, and sitting on the edge of your seat.

I look forward to interacting with such a distinguished group of crime/fiction writers. Take care, and if I haven't met you yet (in the flesh, that is), I look forward to meeting you in . . . THE LITERARY WORLD. HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HAAAAA!!!!!!

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Hooked on Mysteries

The name is Dennis Collins and I was born and raised in Detroit. I don't remember when I first became interested in writing but I do remember getting in trouble with the fourth grade nuns back at St. Mary's for "wasting" my time writing stories. I suspect the hunger began earlier than that.

But I needed to support myself so I suppressed my desire to write while I got a thirty-plus year career in the automotive industry out of the way. I'm retired now and living on the shore of Saginaw Bay at the very tip of Michigan's thumb. Nowadays when I'm not out riding my Harley, I write.

My mystery stories are centered primarily in the Detroit area with occasional sidetrips to the upper peninsula, the desert southwest, and even Europe. I try to paint the City in a positive but realistic light while treating their police department with respect. Hopefully my books are entertaining and believable; sometimes dark but not too dark. The critics have been kind and quite complimentary.

"The Unreal McCoy," Independence Books, and "Turn Left at September," Behler Publications have both been nominated for awards and are available for order through any bookstore or at any internet book dealer.

My next book, "The First Domino," steps away from the series and allows one of the established characters to run a solo gig. I am currently seeking representation for this novel.

In my personal profile, motorcycles play an important part in my life. I'm an avid Harley fan and generally ride around twenty-five thousand miles a season. Adventure has been my passion since I was a kid. I've had opportunities to experience things that many people only dream about. I've been a skydiver, scuba diver, motorcycle racer, professional hydroplane racer, and have even faced a bull in a bullring. I still like roller coasters too.

Monday, April 2, 2007

The Role of the Writer

"With great power comes great responsibility." When Stan Lee came up with this famous line, he was already exercising his talents as a writer. I'm here today to tell you about the importance of the role of the writer. I must strongly disagree with my colleague Mark Terry, who, in his blog here on the role of the writer, comments that "even the most successful novelists are mere second-hand jesters, at that." He then goes on to remind us that jester equates with "fool" (4/1/07). Novelists are some of the brightest people in the world; writing involves more than just throwing down random imaginary thoughts on paper. Novelists are world-builders for their readers. Novelists have the special ability to change people's mindsets, to change the world. Look at Ellison's Invisible Man (plight of the Negro in America), Dicken's Hard Times (the plight of child laborers), Haley's Roots (shows slavery for what it really was), Bradbury's Farenheit 451(the dangers of book burning), Orwell's 1984 (warnings about"Big Brother" with implications for today's Patriot Act), and the list goes on. While these novels are serious in nature and therefore automatically imply some sort of message to the reader, "entertaining" genres such as science fiction show us a new way of thinking (Clarke's 2001, Sagan's Contact, Asimov's Foundation, Robinson's Mars).

As a writer, I have a responsibility to my readers to not only entertain, but to inform and yes, enlighten. Research in narrative psychology shows that fiction actually gives readers a new way of thinking, as well as provide guidance in problem-solving. Fiction is also cathartic--readers can identify with a character going through similar struggles. While I agree that readers usually are not actively seeking these benefits when they pick up a book, I do believe that writers (whether consciously or not) are leading readers to these very things behind the scenes.

As a writer, I never consider myself a fool. Fools don't spend years of research to make sure the dates are right. Fools don't consult the thesaurus over and over again to make sure they have the right word (Flaubert spent years looking for this). Fools don't travel cross-country to make sure their settings are authentic.

Sure, when it comes to popular fiction, there are a lot of clowns out there. But I'm not one of them.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

The Role of Writer

April 1, 2007
It seems pretty clear to me what my job is as a nonfiction writer. It's to inform, to educate, sometimes to analyze. Even in NF, there's a need to entertain so the rest of the job is more effective.

With fiction, on the other hand, the job is to entertain, period. Sure, you might educate, and a few egomaniacs think they know more about life than their readers, so they think their job is to "enlighten" but I figure my ego is just big enough to think my daydreams are powerful enough or skillfully produced that people might choose to share them versus, say, watch TV, rent a video, surf the Internet, have sex, go out to eat, mow the lawn, clean house, talk to their spouse, talk to their kids, walk the dog, clean out the kitty litter or stare vacantly into space.

I'm reminded--and not just because it's April Fool's Day--that modern society places a high premium on entertainment. Human beings probably always have, even if it's that particularly good storyteller in the cave that everybody wants to hear. I always love it when anthropologists go on about the religious aspects of cave paintings. I think, "Or they were bored with nothing better to do." So lest we get all carried away with our egos, I think we as writers should remember that we are nothing more than the court jesters of our age. And by the standards of TV, movies and rock stars, even the most successful novelists are mere second-hand jesters, at that.

Which reminds me again, of course, that there is another word for jester.


Mark Terry
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